Alex Cartney, NorthwichAlex made the move from Northwich in Cheshire in August 2020, he now teaches science at Ballakermeen High School in Douglas.
What prompted you to relocate?
While I knew a little bit about the Isle of Man as my auntie is from here, I had never seriously considered relocating and only had a rough idea of where the Island was situated.
I was undergoing my teacher training when Head Teacher, Adrienne Burnett came to talk to our cohort and I thought “this is worth having a look”. We got talking and I was later invited over to an open evening, enjoyed it and shortly afterwards applied for a job.
I was fortunate enough to be successful and during the trip and I got a real feel for the place. It looked good and I liked the vibe so decided to take the plunge!
How are you finding Island life?
I have to say living in the Isle of Man has exceeded my expectations. This is definitely my type of place. The people are friendly and, as I love the great outdoors anyway, there are so many places to go. I feel really at home here.
What do you enjoy most about working as a teacher on the Isle of Man?
The fact you feel you are having a genuine impact and making a real difference to the lives of young people. I have worked in schools for quite a while, but it is more inclusive over here with a real broad offering. For example, the Ballakermeen special unit carries out some wonderful work. No two days are the same and the school community is so supportive. That is an ideal platform on which to build.
What opportunities does the profession offer?
Plenty. In terms of ambition, the school encourages you to progress as far as you want, develop and gain more experience and, ultimately, take your career in the direction you wish to take it. Alongside my training which is ongoing, it is so helpful to be in an environment where there are promotion prospects in a school which is really supportive of my ambitions.
What is your lifestyle like now?
My lifestyle is excellent with a fantastic work-life balance. As I enjoy the outdoors, the Isle of Man is perfect and I also play for Douglas Rugby Club. They’ve been so welcoming and it’s a great way to make friends, stay fit and active. There’s a good standard of rugby with a fantastic support network around Manx clubs and the social side is good too.
Have you any long-term ambitions for the Isle of Man?
I’d like to stay here long-term and hopefully my girlfriend can move over as well. It is an amazing place and, while I am still finding my feet, I think the fact you can turn one way and be 10 minutes from town, 10 minutes away from the countryside and then turn another way and be in a plantation or up on the hills is a real appeal for me.
What would you say to someone who is considering relocating here?
I would encourage anyone to move here. It’s great for the outdoor life which I love and everything is so accessible. I love learning about the Manx culture and there is a really positive atmosphere. Definitely give it a go - you won’t regret it!